Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies Online
Release year: 2009 | Players: 1 player – multiplayer | Developed by Level-5
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (NDS)
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (AKA ドラゴンクエストIX 星空の守り人 Doragon Kuesuto Nain Hoshizora no Mamoribito in Japan) is a 3D role-playing game developed by Level-5 and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS (NDS) in 2009. This game achieved record-breaking sales within Japan, and has set a Guinness World Record for its anonymous communication mode. Critically, the game has been well-received both inside and outside Japan, with a Famitsu score of 40/40, a GameRankings score of 88%, and a Metacritic score of 87. You can play it here online!
Playing as angel turned human, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies brings a solid JRPG experience for seasoned and new players of the genre. Developed exclusively for the Nintendo DS, Dragon Quest IX stays true to its roots as a fantasy and turn-based JRPG. If you’re familiar with the franchise or have played other JRPG titles beforehand, it’ll be easy to get into things as the game mechanics are as traditional as it can get. Despite retaining the majority of the elements the series is known for, the developers have done a great job in creating a quality and challenging experience worth playing for hours.
The main strength of Dragon Quest IX lies in its overarching mechanics and customization that both add depth to the main gameplay. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is built around its battle system as majority of your play time will involve exploring dungeons and beating all types of bosses. This installment gives the player the most freedom out of most JRPGs, as the appearance and strengths of your party members are all determined by you. There are 12 job classes to choose for your characters, which you can level up and change freely at specific points in the game.
The mini-medal side quest and the alchemy system both make a return where you can create and trade resources you find in game for strong items. Basically everything you do outside of battle and how you train your characters is vital in winning against your enemies.
The game does suffer from a lack of personality and could be seen as a downgrade to its direct predecessor. Since all the characters you’ll be generating will serve as silent protagonists, all interactions in the game naturally comes from NPCs. The graphics and music don’t match up to expectations considering that this game is a sequel to the acclaimed Dragon Quest VIII after all. However, the lore behind Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies redeems the game’s weaker story as the world is fleshed out really well.
There are much smaller narratives to discover in the form of side quests and the post-game content including DLCs combine for a long list of things to accomplish in the game. Unlike many JRPGs one-dimensional, the optional content in DQIX gives more of an impact as they mostly have their own unique cutscenes and bosses.
The game also features local multiplayer where you can play with inside the world of another friend simultaneously. While this feature definitely adds to the fun factor, the single player experience is worth it on its own. After finishing the story of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, you could access more difficult legacy bosses that appeared in previous games, where you can adjust their levels to make the battles more challenging even when your whole party is already at max level.
The game presents the player hours of immersive gameplay—perfect for gamers who are diehard completionists and enjoy the grind for experience points. If you equate value to gameplay more than its story, Dragon Quest IX is a retro video game that is worth another look.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies game has only been ported to the NDS console.